Brian McMillan: Everything is new through the eyes of a preschooler

One night, Kennedy said in our family prayer, ‘Bless that I will have a pretty smile on picture day.’

Kennedy is in preschool now, and she experiences the typical ups and downs of any child experiencing school for the first time.

First, there is excitement about all things new. One Saturday morning I found her zipping up her pink backpack, declaring herself ready for Monday. If only all my children were this prepared and this excited about school …

Another morning before school, she held up her water bottle and asked, “Did you touch it yet?”

I was puzzled, but I obediently touched the water bottle.

She giggled with delight. “See how cold it is? Mom put it in the fridge all night!”

Then, there are the social anxieties that begin to develop. One night, Kennedy said in our family prayer, “Bless that I will have a pretty smile on picture day.”

And there are the fears that come with being more aware of serious issues in the world, like hurricanes.

“Me and my friend were worried that the hurricane was about to come to Florida, so we almost panicked!” she said.

It’s also fun to see Kennedy develop relationship with other adults, an important part of a child’s development. One day, she showed me her journal, in which she had drawn two stick figures holding hands: One was Kennedy, one was her teacher.

But that attachment also can cause a feeling of loss. One day when I went into Kennedy’s bedroom to see if she was getting ready for school, I saw that she was still in her pajamas.

And, she was hiding in the closet.

This was going to be a long morning.

“What’s going on? You’re going to be late,” I said.

“I miss my teacher,” Kennedy said quietly.

I told her, “Well, you better get ready for school so you can go see her, then.”

“She’s gone today!”


Having a substitute teacher can be a frightening prospect for a child. Fortunately, a hug and a kiss from Dad still have some influence — for now.